Some strategic errors are very expensive, especially in sectors as demanding and controversial as cryptocurrencies. A “humiliating experience” according to the chief technology officer (CTO) Charles Guillemet of the French company Ledger, world leader in the field of hardware wallets (hardware wallet). In question, son service « Recover » already on the verge of being buried before it was even truly launched.
It must be said that the announcement of this security option by extracting private keys sounded like a false good idea from the start. But the real problem appeared following the controversy initiated by its integration – even optional – on existing hardware wallets. Because in order to respond to the concerns of their users, the communication managers of Ledger have finished digging the hole in which they already found themselves. Result : option « Recover » suspendue and “open source roadmap. »
Ledger Recover – A feature finally suspended
The problem that the Ledger company has just encountered could almost sum up in itself the situation in which the cryptocurrency sector currently finds itself. Because between the repeated attacks of the regulatory authorities and the ever more important development of this digital economy, an increasingly clear separation is essential between DeFi and CeFi. And as the global market leader in hardware wallets, Ledger was until now the guarantor of the decentralized part of this ecosystem because of its support for valuable private keys.
Unfortunately, the Ledger company obviously wanted to play in another category by moving from hardware wallet builder to crypto service provider. Certainly a very good idea on paper, when it came to graphs displaying the new revenues linked to associated subscriptions. But that was to forget that this dynamic risked at the same time weaken its character hitherto strongly anchored on the side of decentralization.
Because in fact, the simple assumption of being able to extract the private keys from these small boxes had the effect of a bomb on the cryptocurrency sector. To the point of pushing Charles Guillemet to admit that this will impose on Ledger a new “way of working with the community for future decisions. And after a week of heated debates and increasingly alarming declarations, the decision has just fallen like a cleaver: the “Recover” functionality is officially suspended.
Ledger – Publication d’une roadmap open source
And in order to find a suitable way out of this fiasco, the Ledger company seems determined to play the card of transparency. A way to pursue its mission to “provide (its) users with the right tools to own their digital value safely. And in order to achieve this – and to calm the spirits – it’s about “accelerating (its) open source roadmap to bring more verifiability” in the context of its achievements. But this of course without including everything related to its chips and secure elements…
« We recently open sourced our crypto library (which is part of our operating system), and we will publish the Ledger Recover whitepaper very soon, allowing anyone to audit protocols and create their own backup provider fragments. »
Because finally Ledger does not waive its Recover option. Indeed, Charles Guillemet explains that the company wants to “open most of (its) operating system, starting with Ledger Recover, to make it fully auditable. And once this step is validated, this functionality will be considered again if it is accepted and understood by the community. Because it won’t be no question of developing a new portfolio specially dedicated to its integration, because according to Ledger, it would amount to a simple “theater of security. »
A dynamic confirmed by Eric Larchevêque, former CEO and co-founder of Ledger. Because according to the latter, “security through obscurity” is ultimately not the best. This while recalling at the same time a fact impossible to ignore: the majority of crypto users today are insecure. Indeed, according to the figures put forward, out of more than 400 million cryptocurrency holders, only 10 million have hardware wallets. The Ledger company therefore still has a bright future ahead of it…
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